As Principal Analyst for Data Center Technology at Current Analysis, Chris is responsible for covering the emerging technologies that are remapping the traditional data center landscape. These include software and hardware products that are required to support public, private and hybrid cloud architectures, as well as the underlying virtualization and orchestration technology that is needed to enable process automation and workload management. He also covers the Converged Infrastructure market, with a focus on the latest generations of vendor pre-certified and optimized hardware/software stacks.
In 2018, rising enterprise demand for hybrid cloud solutions will fuel new and expanded partnerships between traditional infrastructure vendors and hyperscale public cloud providers.
Vendor initiatives will target the challenge of managing workloads across hybrid and increasingly distributed IT environments, along with ways of simplifying the procurement, deployment and consumption of IT.
2017 saw a growing recognition that private cloud technology is both a realistic and desirable way to manage enterprise workloads, and can be used more efficiently through effective integration in conjunction with public cloud services. A common theme during the year’s industry events was envisaging and enabling multi- and hybrid cloud futures. At the same time, in 2017, data center infrastructure vendors from Cisco and Dell EMC to IBM and HPE continued to transform their solutions and services businesses. These transformations were a response to enterprise digitalization initiatives and recognition that in the future, IT will be hybrid, and must be able to span the full spectrum of enterprise locales from the cloud to core data centers to the network edge. In 2017, individual vendors went through quite different transformation processes: in addition to launching new solutions, technology companies acquired and integrated new businesses, and forged alliances with one another and with hyperscale cloud providers in order to fill out their portfolios. These developments were all driven by a competitive push to help enterprises modernize their traditional data center environments, capitalize on the benefits of hybrid cloud, and expand their ability to handle growing volumes of data at the edge of their networks. Continue reading “In 2018, Data Center Technology Will Become Smarter, Hybrid, More Distributed, and Easier to Consume”→
• At its Discover event in Madrid, HPE communicated its vision and strategy and to an industry eager to comprehend the impact of Meg Whitman’s decision to step down as CEO.
• In addition to its goal of making hybrid IT simple for enterprise customers, HPE, under its incoming CEO, Antonio Neri, will strengthen its focus on IoT, what it terms “intelligent IT”, edge computing, converged OT control systems, and analytics.
For HPE, last week’s Discover event in Madrid was an opportunity to communicate its vision and strategy to an industry eager to comprehend the impact of Meg Whitman’s announced decision, the week before, to step down as CEO. In her time as CEO, Whitman oversaw the company’s transformation from a provider of traditional data center infrastructure to a business focused on enterprise cloud and hybrid IT solutions. This transformation saw the creation of HPE at the end of 2014, followed by a further slimming down of the company via the disposal of non-core businesses. At the same time, HPE acquired several new companies, including wireless-network infrastructure provider, Aruba Networks and all-flash hybrid storage array provider, Nimble Storage. Continue reading “HPE Discover 2017: Under Antonio Neri, HPE Will Expand Its Focus on the Edge and Intelligent IT”→
The latest OpenStack Summit highlighted the need to improve integration between OpenStack and external technologies for managing containers and edge IT environments.
The November Summit also saw a change in the language that’s used to define OpenStack development initiatives, to focus less on projects and more on use cases such as containers and edge infrastructure.
News stemming from the November 2017 OpenStack Summit in Sydney, Australia, reflected the maturity of the OpenStack platform and the stability of its core technologies: Nova for virtual machines, Swift for object storage, Cinder for block storage and Neutron for SDN. However, the Summit discussions also reflected an acknowledgement of the limits of OpenStack and the need to ensure the stack’s integration with a host of additional technologies – including technologies for managing applications and containers and those that support the successful operation of edge IT environments. Continue reading “OpenStack Sydney: Community Raises a Call to Action for Improved Integration with Non-OpenStack Technologies”→
• Major themes at this year’s Open Source Summit Europe included the continued ascendency of Kubernetes, and the flood of new companies joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).
• Following AWS’s decision to join the CNCF many now expect Amazon to start making it easier to run Kubernetes on its infrastructure.
This year’s Open Source Summit Europe – the second such summit to be held in Europe – brought together over 2,000 developers, operators and other IT professionals in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The major themes of the Summit included the continued ascendency of Kubernetes, which has risen to prominence as the most popular orchestration platform for deploying and managing containerized applications. Other themes included the flood of new companies joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), one of several organizations the supported by the Linux Foundation. The CNCF serves as a neutral home for collaboration between vendors and end users and is dedicated to promoting an open source software stack for container orchestration and management. Established in 2015 by founding members that included Google, IBM, Intel and VMware, the CNCF has since seen a steady stream of high-profile cloud companies joining its ranks, with relatively recent members including Microsoft, Oracle, Alibaba, SAP and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Continue reading “Open Source Summit Europe 2017: Microsoft and Docker Increase Support for Kubernetes, but Will AWS Follow Suit?”→
• At its 2017 NEXT conference Hitachi announced the creation of a new business division, Hitachi Vantara, and a revamped strategy to target opportunities in industrial IoT.
• To succeed Hitachi must overcome several challenges, including the communication of the new Vantara brand and the assertion of its chief competitive differentiators.
Hitachi’s 2017 NEXT conference in Las Vegas was a pivotal event for the Tokyo-based multinational. Hitachi announced the creation of a new, wholly owned but independently managed business division, Hitachi Vantara, and a revamped strategy to target opportunities in the field of industrial and enterprise Internet of Things (IoT). Hitachi Vantara combines three former Hitachi businesses: Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), a provider of data center infrastructure solutions; Hitachi Insight, which was launched in May 2016 to advance Hitachi’s IoT initiatives; and Pentaho, which Hitachi acquired in May 2016 and specializes in big data integration and analytics solutions.
According to Hitachi, the move to establish Hitachi Vantara effectively formalized cooperation that was already occurring between the individual Hitachi businesses – particularly in relation to IoT. Hitachi Vantara will aim to leverage innovation, development initiatives and experience from across the Hitachi group to target emerging industrial IoT (IIoT) opportunities. Hitachi’s experience includes more than 100 years as a provider of operational technologies (OT) for industries ranging from finance and government to manufacturing, energy and transportation. It also includes more than 50 years of experience as a provider of IT offerings that include data center solutions such as storage and converged platforms.
• At its 2017 Insight event, NetApp will reinforce its ability to help enterprises manage growing volumes of data in a hybrid cloud and IoT era.
• Investments in all-flash storage, converged infrastructure, and hybrid cloud solutions are increasing NetApp’s competitiveness relative to rivals Dell EMC, HPE, IBM and Pure Storage.
Next week at its 2017 Insight event in Las Vegas, NetApp is expected to announce several important product initiatives, amid growing intrigue about what the vendor’s future holds.
Foremost among NetApp’s announcements will be the general availability of its hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solution, which includes QoS-based profiling for different workloads and the ability to scale compute and storage separately. Other expected announcements include the integration of the new HCI offering with NetApp’s Data Fabric, and the latest version of NetApp’s ONTAP data management software. Alongside these announcements NetApp is expected to reinforce the message that it is a company committed and best able to help enterprises manage growing volumes of data in a hybrid cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) era. Continue reading “NetApp Insight 2017: Solution Announcements Will Reinforce Strategy Success and Further Fuel Takeover Rumors”→
For enterprises of all sizes, the need to manage complex hybrid and multi-cloud environments is fueling demand for integrated management solutions.
Solution vendors will respond by continuing to expand their portfolio capabilities, the range of cloud platforms supported and the choice of consumption and delivery models.
It is now widely accepted that the future of enterprise cloud will be hybrid, as enterprises of all sizes look for ways of harnessing the benefits of both private and public clouds. Indeed, the perceived opportunity to deliver hybrid cloud solutions to enterprises is encouraging both public cloud service providers and private cloud infrastructure vendors to evolve their existing solutions and introduce new ones – with the latter often involving the formation of new strategic partnerships. Continue reading “Managing Hybrid Cloud Complexity: A Battleground and Differentiator”→
OpenStack cloud deployment continues to grow, with the main business drivers among enterprise users including the desire to avoid vendor lock-in and the potential to enhance innovation and operational efficiency.
Specific criticisms of OpenStack focus on the current six-month release cycle, as well as the complexity of the installation process for new releases and insufficient support for containers.
• Although Huawei’s public cloud platform will compete internationally against Amazon, Microsoft and Google, Huawei will differentiate by focusing on emerging markets and specific verticals.
• In promoting its public cloud platform, Huawei must continue to support the long-term need among many enterprises for private and hybrid cloud solutions.
It’s been a busy few weeks for Huawei, which has been forging ahead with new initiatives for supporting the adoption of cloud-based technologies and services among enterprise customers. One of the most attention-grabbing announcements at Huawei’s 14th Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen (April 11-13), centered on the international expansion of the company’s public cloud platform. Huawei has offered public cloud services in China since 2015, competing against local providers such as Alibaba. It is now extending its ability to deliver public cloud services internationally via strategic partnerships with Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefónica, which will each utilize Huawei’s platform to offer public cloud services in regions where they have network infrastructure strengths. Although Huawei plans to extend its public cloud platform to other regions, it will do so cautiously, in response to customer demand, and with partners that need strict selection criteria. Continue reading “As Huawei Expands Its Public Cloud Platform It Should Not Underestimate Private and Hybrid Cloud Requirements”→
In contrast to HPE and Cisco, which have recently retreated from maintaining public clouds, IBM continues to assert its strengths as a public cloud provider.
IBM should build on its capabilities to deliver hybrid cloud solutions, while also preparing for strong competition from Microsoft, Dell EMC and VMware.
The cloud was the central theme at this year’s IBM InterConnect conference in Las Vegas, with IBM emphasizing the growing strength and competitiveness of the IBM Cloud, while also launching several new initiatives to support enterprise hybrid cloud deployments. These include a new strategic alliance with Red Hat that is intended to make it faster and easier for enterprises to deploy OpenStack-based hybrid clouds and the launch of a suite of tools for managing hybrid and multi-cloud environments – some of which utilize IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning engine, Watson, to offer predictive management capabilities. Continue reading “IBM InterConnect 2017: Hybrid Cloud Offers IBM the Best Chance to Differentiate”→